Governor Eric Holcomb has officially signed the executive order requiring Hoosiers to wear face coverings in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order, which goes into effect Monday, will last until at least August 26 and does not include criminal penalties for non-compliance.
The governor first announced the plan during his weekly COVID-19 press briefing on Wednesday. At that time, Holcomb said anyone found not complying with the order could face a Class B misdemeanor charge, which drew criticism from Hoosiers.
“Hoosiers have worked hard to get where we are today with businesses open and people back at work. We want to keep it that way. We don’t want to dial things back. Face coverings can and will help us blunt the increase of this virus,” Holcomb said in a news release.
The governor’s office says state and local health departments will be responsible for enforcing compliance with the order. Local governments will also have the ability to impose more restrictive guidelines, if necessary.
Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) released a statement following the executive order being signed:
“Senate Republicans have been in close contact with the governor since his announcement of the new mask mandate earlier this week. We are very pleased to see that the executive order he signed today does not include a criminal penalty for non-compliance, and we will continue to provide input in our role as part of the legislative branch of state government. We all want to do our part to see our state continue to move forward.”
Holcomb’s order comes as overall hospitalizations have grown to approximately 800. On Friday, the state saw a record single-day total of positive COVID-19 cases with just over 1,000.
You can view the executive order in full by clicking here.